Joshua White, recently crowned the No1 player for the season, will lead an impressive array of MENA Golf Tour talent at the DUBAi Open when the Asian Tour’s final event of 2014 gets under way at The Els Club Dubai from December 18-21.
The quiet Englishman has made the most noise this season on the Tour, winning the Order of Merit title ahead of compatriot Luke Joy, with Zane Scotland, the most successful player in the Tour, settling for the third place.
The talented English trio are among a 23-strong MENA Tour contingent who will pit their skills against the elite of the Asian Tour in a tournament that will provide them with a chance to earn precious World Ranking points.
The presence of such a large number of MENA Tour players in the DUBAi Open, promoted and organised by ‘golf in DUBAi’, is a
reflection of the growing relationship with the Asian Tour.
There are a number of regional players in the field, led by Ahmed Marjane, Faycal Serghini and Younes El Hassani, all from Morocco, and Peter Badawy of Lebanon.
Marjane, the first Arab golfer to win a MENA Golf Tour event – the 2014 Ras Al Khaimah Classic – is genuinely excited at the prospect of playing in his second Asian Tour event, after having given a good account of himself in the King’s Cup last week.
Marjane missed the cut, but he shot one of the best rounds of the second day – a five-under par 67.
“I had heard a lot about the Asian Tour, which has produced so many world-class players over the years. A good showing in the DUBAi Open will certainly be a good advertisement not only for the MENA Golf but also for Arab golf in general,” said the 22-year-old.
“We can’t wait to get started. We are confident that we can be as competitive as anyone in the field.”
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, said: “Golf’s future lies in Asia. The rising popularity of the sport in China and India, in particular, has led to the creation of many new courses and a perceptible upsurge in in-bound golf tourism.
“The golf market in Asia is huge and everyone wants to be involved. We are excited to be hosting the DUBAi Open and thank the Asian Tour for extending this fantastic opportunity to the MENA Golf Tour. Their recognition of our efforts to grow golf in our region is much appreciated.”
David Lipsky set for Dubai
Meanwhile, Asian Tour’s Order of Merit leader American David Lipsky believes he has a good chance of wrapping up the title when he competes in the tournament.
“My game is really good… good enough to win anywhere,” said the 26-year-old from Los Angeles, who currently leads the Order of Merit with $682,610 in earnings, ahead of India’s Anirban Lahiri ($564,354)
“I have a pretty good lead right now and I will be playing in Indonesia and Thailand before coming to Dubai. This season I have made almost all of my money from just two events,” said Lipsky, referring to his achievements in winning the Omega European Masters and finishing second at The Championship at
“The DUBAi Open is the final event of the season on the Asian Tour and I will be playing. It will be fun to play on a course designed by Ernie Els,” said Lipsky.
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